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The Blind Boys of Alabama - Down in New Orleans

Down In New Orleans

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Time Life Music - 16510

Available from The Blind Boys of Alabama's web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

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The Blind Boys of Alabama have changed since they were first formed in 1939, as has the music, however the feeling, power and conviction with which the music is delivered hasn't changed at all. On this recording, Jimmy Carter, a founding member of the group, was there in fine voice, though Clarence Fountain, another of the founders, was absent, the slack was taken up by the new members of the group, who carry on the group's seven decades long tradition of presenting music in the gospel tradition, whether it be music from the church or secular music.

In this tribute to the music and rhythms of New Orleans, which was recorded there, they use a passel of musicians from the Crescent City. The band is comprised if some of the city's finest; David Torkanowsky on piano, keyboards, and Hammond B3 organ; Ronald Guerin on upright and electric bass; and Shannon Powell on drums; as well as the special guests Allen Toussaint on piano, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Hot 8 Brass Band. It is a recording that reflects the traditions of The Blind Boys' gospel group—and remember, when they were formed there were only 78 rpm records and audiences were segregated—beautifully blended and integrated with the rhythms of the music of New Orleans, in a collaboration that shows the best both have to offer. Give a listen to soul and heart that is reflected here; particularly, give a listen to, I've Got A Home. It is all right there for you to hear. This disc highlights the power and beauty of The Blind Boys' natural voices shown in the best light by sensitive musicians that know what they are doing.

Track List:

  • Free At Last
  • Make a Better World
  • How I Got Over
  • You Got To Move
  • Across the Bridge
  • You Better Mind
  • Down By the Riverside
  • If I Could Help Somebody
  • Uncloudy Day
  • A Prayer
  • I've Got a Home
  • I'll Fly Away

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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